April 16th, 2004


Richie Sowa's bottle island


Many people's idea of paradise would be a private tropical island, complete with clear water lapping against a white sandy beach. For most of us however, two weeks summer holiday abroad each year are the closest we will ever get. For one ex-pat though, the dream of being a modern-day Robinson Crusoe has actually become a reality. Richie Sowa, 49 years old, lives on Spiral Island, which is situated in a lagoon off Puerto Aventuras, an exclusive resort just south of Cancun, Mexico. Over the last four years, Richie, a carpenter from Middlesbrough has built his very own patch of paradise from nearly a quarter of a million plastic bottles. The island is, in fact, a huge floating raft. Stowed in nets and bags, the bottles are clustered underneath layers of plywood and provide enough buoyancy to keep the island afloat

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Asparagus and Popcorn

Ever eat asparagus then notice that your urine smells funny? If so, you're one of the people who can break down asparagus into it's particularly smelly parts, and who also have the olfactory receptors for detecting said smelly bits. I'm one of those people.

Recently, I've discovered another food that causes the same phenomenon: popcorn. I've found that if I eat a large bowl of popcorn, my urine will smell like popcorn the next day. Anyone else notice this in themselves?